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I'm BACK! Classroom Reveal & a FREEBIE

Goodness gracious it has been WAY too long!
I hope you had an amazing summer. I have been eagerly awaiting the time I could hop back on my blog and fill you in on all of my new happenings. 
As you may know, I had a baby last year and it has taken awhile to get adjusted to our new normal.
 I have absolutely loved becoming a Mama and learning how to slow down and enjoy life with my little guy, but now school is back in session and I couldn't be more excited to show you what I worked on all...summer....long!

(my reason for not blogging- isn't that face scrumptious! I mean c'mon, I just can't handle those cheeks!)

Last spring I accepted a new job as a kindergarten teacher (that's right- a single grade!! I feel like I've died and gone to heaven).
I am now teaching kindergarten half days (I'm teaching in the morning and my partner teacher is there in the afternoons). This gives me just the right balance of doing what I love: teaching kinder and snuggling my little one at home. 
I am one happy lady!

So, as soon as I found out I would be teaching kinder, I got on Pinterest ASAP and started planning out the design for my new room. 
It took me all summer, but I finally feel ready to share it with you. So here we go,

Drum roll please....

 Here is a close up of my desk area. I got the pink tassels at target. The bunting is from Amy Grosebeck's unit. You can grab it HERE

<<< Our cozy reading nook. We have already started using it during read to self time and the kiddos love lounging on the benches while they read.

Our reading buddies >>>
I haven't introduced them yet this year, but I know the kids are gonna LOVE partner reading with their favorite characters! 

Here's a little close up of our number "feature board"
This helps my students gain a really solid understanding of number concepts throughout the year. Feel free to download yourself a FREEBIE

 This is a close up of our cubbies. I found this awesome idea on pinterest a few years ago. Put the students names on clips so you can move them around. This really helps me since I always put my students names in ABC order ;)

 <<<This is our writing wall. I plan to put up student work once we get into the swing of things. Also it's a little hard to see, but the other board is for "selfies". I plan to have the students complete monthly self portraits and we will add them to the wall. I can't wait to see how they progress throughout the year!

And last but not least, I wanted to give you a close up of my favorite bulletin board!
I got the idea from Pinterest, but I added my own spin.

Thanks for stopping by!
I'll be posting later in the week all about our kinder orientation and back to school night.

Until next time!

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Maternity Leave, Pregnancy Recap & Nursery Reveal!

Well, it's official! I am finally on maternity leave and to be quite honest I don't know what to do with myself. 
They say right before women give birth, they either have a big surge of energy or feel really tired. I think I've fallen into the first category.  If you're anything like me, you enjoy making checklists and even more, checking the items off once each task is completed. For months I've had a giant list in my head of things I felt I "needed" to accomplish before my baby arrived. As that list has gotten smaller and smaller, it has started to sink in, that this is REALLY happening. Hopefully in just a few days time, we will get to meet our little bundle and our world will be turned upside down.

In preparation for our son's birth, I want to check one more thing off my list. I thought it would be fun to take a little break from educational blogging and share something personal. 

Here is a fun little recap of my pregnancy journey and the highlights along the way:

Chalkboard Pregnancy Milestones

I found these awesome chalkboard templates on Etsy designed by SweetBeeCreates.
I have loved using these by-weekly updates to keep track of my growing belly.

Best Baby Shower EVER!

I have to say that I've got the most amazing friends! I was completely blown away by how incredible my shower was. I was in pinterest heaven! My friend Joanna hosted and spent countless hours pouring over all the details.
Here is just a little peak at all the amazing stuff she created:

Photo Booth Area


Sweet Treats 
Can I just mention that she made these airplane pops by hand!!

Savory & Scrumptious Snacks

How cute is that? I love that the food matched some of my favorite children's books.

Also, these were the favor boxes. Each guest got to take home their own "suitcase" filled with fun goodies. 
They were absolutely incredible!

Maternity Photo Shoot

A friend of mine {Shelby Clark} recently started a photography business. I fell in love with her style and wanted her to capture my baby bump.
I love how she used warm lighting to capture each image. You can check out her full portfolio on her website


Nursery Reveal

People have asked me what my theme is and the best I can come up with is Aztec modern print with a  touch of a camping theme. Not sure if that makes any sense, but I'm pretty happy with the end results!

This is probably my favorite part of the whole nursery. I LOVE our gallery wall.

I found the prints on Etsy created by Zoom Boone Creations, the marquee letter B from Michaels and the white ceramic organizer from Ikea.

I absolutely love our little book nook. Being a teacher, I couldn't help but stock up on a ton of classics. Our little dude is gonna be quite well read.

Getting organized

One of my favorite things is to put labels on bins. I'm pretty sure it's the teacher in me, but naturally when it was time to get the nursery all set up, I couldn't help but slap on a label to anything standing still.
Here is how I organized all our stuff:

I'm sure these labels will change as our son grows and his needs vary (but that's why I chose chalkboard, it's easy to wipe off and re-write).

 Call me crazy, but I plan on cloth diapering. Since it will be new to me, I've decided to give myself about a month before taking on that new learning curve. We've got our stash of disposable diapers on the left and all the size small (8lbs-13lbs) cloth diapers on the right.
The bottom two bins are filled with clothes. The best way I could think to organize them was by style- going out or staying home. Clothes in the bin labeled "Fancy Duds" will be reserved for special outings (church, doctors apt. etc), and the ones in the bin on the right labeled "Dressin Down" are the casual clothes he can poop and spit up on at home. 

Lastly, I was incredibly blessed by the generosity of several friends who shared their sons hand me downs and helped me get stocked up for our little dude. 
Since it was a little overwhelming sorting through all the clothes, I decided it would be easier to sort them by size and of course add a laminated label to each bin :)

Thanks so much for stopping by! I think the next time you'll be hearing from me, I will have my little bundle of joy!

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End of the Year & Maternity Leave

Well, the time has finally arrived! It's just about time for me to take my maternity leave and for us to meet our little guy. I think I've been dragging my feet a little since I have been feeling so good and I love my students so much. I didn't want to leave them until I absolutely had to!
My last day is tomorrow and my due date is on Sunday- not sure I'd recommend this or ever do it again, but it seemed to work out well this time around.

There has been so much preparation leading up to this point, I almost don't know what to do with myself now that I'm getting ready to say goodbye to my students and hello to my son!

I wanted to share some of the fun things I have done to wrap up the end of the school year.

#1) Balloon Countdown

Each day we have been popping a balloon the help us stay excited and focused as we gear up for the end of the school year.
This has been an awesome tradition that has made our end of the year routine extra special.

A couple of our favorite highlights thus far include:

Making lemonade
 The students loved learning how to make lemonade from scratch. I let them juice the lemons. Then we added boiling water to make the sugar dissolve and finally added cold water at the end. We popped it in the fridge for a bit and enjoyed it at the end of the day. It was a sweet treat and a fun way to incorporate our science unit (states of matter/molecular movement) into a cooking project.

Paper Airplane Day

We watched this youtube video to give us a refresher on how to make paper airplanes, then we went outside and tested them.
It was fun to see which airplanes flew the farthest.

Solar Smores

We had so much fun with this one! 
I was able to find all the ingredients at the dollar store (one of my favorite places to shop!). 
Before we took the smores outside, we voted on how long it would take for the smores to melt. Turns out the majority of the students were close. The smores didn't fully melt until around 2:45pm. 

The smores in the process of melting...

And the verdict: They were melty and hot and delicious; definitely a HUGE hit!

Book Exchange Day

We teamed up with our 4th/5th grade class and brought in books.
This was a fun way to gear the kids up for summer reading. Hopefully they will devour their new books and read, read, read this summer!

#2 Staff & Student Gifts

Since my hubby is the principal, I agreed to help him put a little gift together to thank our staff for all of their awesome service this year.

If you are interested you can download these from my store:

And these fun goodies, I made for my elementary team. 

I made these goody bags for my tutoring students.
Since I'm also taking maternity leave from tutoring, I wanted to leave them with a little treat until we pick back up later in the summer.

You can download this tag for FREE 

 I filled them with a few fun things to thank my students for all of their hard work!

I found these cute little treat tags on TPT and am planning to have my sub pass them out on the last day of school.
Snag yourself a free copy HERE

#3 Thank you Sub Basket
My sub will be taking over for me starting Monday and I wanted to make sure she feels welcomed and appreciated.
I was fortunate enough to find most of these items in the Target dollar section.
Here are some of the essentials:
-Notepad & pencils
-Hand Sanitizer
- Throat Lozenges, Tic Tacks, Aleive & Chapstick

#4 Surprise Baby Shower!
My coworkers and students surprised me with a sweet shower this afternoon. All the elementary kids made cards (which were so cute and hilarious) and we played baby shower games and ate cake. At the end, they sang the baby a lullaby (twinkle, twinkle). It was absolutely fabulous!

I sure am gonna miss my sweet school community and students, but I feel so grateful for the incredible year we have had and extremely excited for this next big step!
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